(a) Subject to subsection (b) of this section, each recipient of an Underwood-Smith teacher scholarship is eligible to receive assistance of up to $5,000 for each academic year of higher education in preparation for becoming a preschool, elementary, middle or secondary teacher in the public schools of this state. No individual may receive scholarship assistance for more than four academic years for the completion of a bachelor's degree and two academic years for completion of a master's degree.
(b) No individual shall receive a scholarship award under this article which exceeds the cost of attendance at the institution the individual is attending. The cost of attendance shall be based upon the actual cost of tuition and fees, and reasonable allowances for books, educational supplies, room and board and other expenses necessitated by individual circumstances, in accordance with the program guidelines. For the purposes of establishing an award amount, the senior administrator shall take into account the amount of financial aid assistance the recipient has or will receive from all other sources. If the amount of the Underwood-Smith teacher scholarship assistance award and the amount of assistance awards which the recipient has received from all other sources exceed the cost of attendance, the institution's financial aid officer, in consultation with the scholar, will determine what aid is to be reduced and shall do so in a manner to the best advantage of the scholar.